Why is surface coal mining less expensive than subsurface mining?

Surface mining is often preferred to subsurface mining by companies in the industry because it is less expensive, there are fewer complications with electricity and water, and it is safer. However, surface mining can be more environmentally-damaging than subsurface mining.

What are the advantages of surface mining of coal compared to underground mining?

Surface mines offer advantages and disadvantages when compared to underground mining amongst the advantages are that it is cheaper can recover more of the resource usually up to 100 within the mining excavation is safer and can use largerscale mining equipment offering higher production rates..

Is underground mining more expensive than surface mining?

Underground mining involves the excavation of tunnels and rooms beneath Earth’s surface. Compared to surface mining, underground mining is expensive and dangerous. Therefore, it is used primarily in situations where high-value ores such as gold are concentrated in narrow veins or other unusually rich deposits.

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Why is subsurface mining more dangerous than surface mining?

Subsurface mines produce large amounts of environmentally hazardous acid mine drainage. … The groundwater from the mines is more acidic than surface waters and disrupts ecosystems by changing the pH conditions of soil and water sources.

Why is surface mining more common?

Why Choose Surface Mining? Surface mining is often the preference for mining companies. This is because removing the terrain surface, or overburden, to access the mineral beneath is often more cost-effective than gouging tunnels and subterranean shafts to access minerals underground.

Is surface or subsurface mining worse?

Subsurface mining is actually less disruptive to the earth and produces less waste than surface mining, but it’s also much less effective and more dangerous. Many workers die in mine collapses, which then also leaves behind a large hole from caving in of the ground above.

What are the negatives of mining?

Across the world, mining contributes to erosion, sinkholes, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, significant use of water resources, dammed rivers and ponded waters, wastewater disposal issues, acid mine drainage and contamination of soil, ground and surface water, all of which can lead to health issues in local …

Is Surface Mining dangerous?

Surface mining (another name for “strip mining”) can severely erode the soil or reduce its fertility; pollute waters or drain underground water reserves; scar or altar the landscape; damage roads, homes, and other structures; and destroy wildlife.

Why do miners need ventilation?

A mine ventilation system must prevent the release of dust into the GBA, and remove air contaminated with dust from the areas where men and machinery are traveling or working. Blasting is the biggest single source of mine dust and is the most difficult process in which to control the release of dust.

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What is the difference between surface mining and subsurface mining?

Distinguish between surface mining and subsurface mining. SURFACE MINING is the extraction of mineral and energy resources near Earth’s surface by first removing the soil, subsoil, and overlying rock strata. … SUBSURFACE MINING is the extraction of mineral and energy resources from deep underground deposits.

Which type of mining is likely the least harmful to the environment?

Placer mining can be less damaging to the environment than surface mines, as the sediment is returned to the water after the minerals have been extracted.

What are the negative effects of mining on the lithosphere?

Environmental destruction by mining involves erosion, the formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water. Erosion can be affected by multiple factors. Breaking crust can destroy the strength of different ground.

What is subsurface mining used for?

Subsurface mining is a mining method in which soil and rocks are removed to reach underlying coal or minerals. It is used to mine ore deposits that are 50 m or more beneath Earth’s surface. Room-and-pillar mining is a common method of subsurface mining. This method is used to extract salt and coal.

What is the environmental impact of surface mining?

Environmental impacts of mining can occur at local, regional, and global scales through direct and indirect mining practices. Impacts can result in erosion, sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, or the contamination of soil, groundwater, and surface water by the chemicals emitted from mining processes.

Why is strip mining bad?

Strip mining destroys landscapes, forests and wildlife habitats at the site of the mine when trees, plants, and topsoil are cleared from the mining area. This in turn leads to soil erosion and destruction of agricultural land. When rain washes the loosened top soil into streams, sediments pollute waterways.

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What is the most abundant coal in the United States?

Where the United States gets its coal

  • Five states accounted for about 71% of total U.S. coal production in 2019:
  • Wyoming39.2%
  • West Virginia13.2%
  • Pennsylvania7.1%
  • Illinois6.5%
  • Kentucky5.1%
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